By Kevin Deutsch
Investigators on Thursday announced the “systematic dismantling” of a north Broward street gang that terrorized residents, sold fentanyl and heroin across the area, and committed scores of violent gun crimes, authorities said.
Members of the criminal organization—known as the Alwoods gang—are responsible for numerous crimes across Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties, including drive-by shootings, robberies, burglaries, and weapons violations, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
Altwoods members were also allegedly involved in homicides targeting rival gangs. At least three gang members are suspected of plotting the murder of a rival gang member, deputies said.
Throughout their five-year-long probe, which involved other law enforcement agencies, BSO investigators said they seized more than 40 kilos of cocaine, more than 20 kilos of heroin and fentanyl, and thousands of pills peddled by the Altwoods gang and its associates.
Their casework also led to the seizure of more than 70 guns and more than $800,000 in cash, along with houses, cars, boats, and about $1 million in gold and jewelry from the gang’s coffers, according to BSO.
Around 70 gang members and associates of the organization—known to be operating since the 1990s—were arrested during the probe after their ranks “instilled fear across the northern end of Broward County,” deputies said in announcing the bust.
More than 100 additional people were charged with various crimes allegedly connected to the gang’s activities, some of which involved Tamarac.
BSO’s Tamarac Crime Suppression Team was among the investigators working the case, the agency said.
Authorities said many of the gang’s members were rounded up and charged in recent days.
“This gang had committed a multitude of different atrocities… from being involved in shootings and murder attempts to major trafficking of narcotics, including fentanyl, which has impacted Broward County like no other county in our state,” Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said during a press conference Thursday.
“BSO detectives and deputies, along with our outstanding law enforcement partners, worked long hours in dangerous situations to take down the members of this gang and make sure they remain where they belong—in jail,” Tony added in a written statement.
BSO gang investigators began building their racketeering case against the gang starting in 2017, when a wave of fentanyl overdoses swept across Broward communities, including Tamarac and Coral Springs.
Detectives said they served dozens of search warrants to take out the organization’s drug dealers, drug distributors, and leadership.
Prosecutors are using RICO statutes that treat the gang’s activities as a criminal conspiracy.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, whose prosecutors were involved in the investigation, said Altwoods members are “connected to hundreds of cases—including violent crimes, drug trafficking, and at least one fentanyl overdose death.”
She said her prosecutors recovered more than $2 million in illicit proceeds during the probe, including cash and other assets. They also seized around 64 kilos of fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine, Moody said.
BSO said their investigation into the Alwoods gang is ongoing.
Anyone with information about the organization or crimes committed by its members is asked to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS or submit a tip online at browardcrimestoppers.org.
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- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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